joie restaurant by dozo, orchard central

really, surprisingly, good vegetarian fine dining atop orchard central. I’m a big fan of vegetables, not so much of vegetarian eating – the latter with its not-always-positive connotations of overt ingredient manipulation, and the unhealthiness you often see in the Asian understanding of the cuisine (i.e. deep-frying and excessive use of gluten products).

I came here with absolutely no expectations – no review-reading, no foodie-asking – and they delivered a quite remarkable meal full of fresh ingredients and many surprises. and whilst the plates belie a care expected of the fine-dining standard they aspire to, the prices don’t (in other words, great for dates and impressing without being hard on the pocket).

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gourmet greens week, or how to get your 5 a day

or, the most hip (hippest?) string of restaurants I’ve been to all year: humpback, oso ristorante, burlamacco, sugarhall and pepenero (and more!).

if you have an aversion to greens, can I suggest you grow up?, there’s a spate of restaurants out to change your mind with a slew of dishes that are so beautiful (and delicious!) as to defy any accusation of boringness.

on the week of 23 november, gourmet greens week opens at an amazing range of restaurants offering menus centered around beautiful vegetal produce. keep an open mind – because what they’re doing is plenty tasty:


like this brand new, hip-and-yuppie australian-feeling restaurant that’s drawing crowds for their delicious oysters and sides – they’ve taken the sunchoke, a rare tuber to see in singapore, and dished it up three ways: fried, pureed and raw .

one for the carb lovers, the freshness of the raw shavings plays up the heartiness of the other two preparations (and I love the trendy kale chip that came with it!).

oso ristorante

I didn’t have a great time at this italian place at bukit pasoh when I last visited for restaurant week a couple years ago, but the simple homeliness of the classic eggplant parmigiana was very (pleasantly) surprising here.

tender slices of eggplant baked with an intense tomato sauce and interspersed with cheese (BEST part of the dish), it’s a simple appetiser that exemplifies the best of italian home cooking. watch out for that sprout garnish though – it’s spicy (and more than a kick to the senses!)

also, a shoutout to that foccacia topped with perfectly caramelised onions – SO GOOD.

burlamacco ristorante

I’ve been here before, and ordered this very dish – eggs cooked in spicy marinara.

there’s something ridiculously easy about eggs in tomato sauce – the first brings richness (AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE EGGS), the second a bright tang – and I enjoyed it just as much now as I did before. scoop it up with the soft, fluffy rolls they serve here – italian eating is all about carb-overloading.


there’s plenty positive being said about this dark, fashionable restaurant, but I have to say that this was my least favorite dish. essentially cubes of tender beetroot atop mascarpone cheese on a dish of puff pastry, that last component overshadows the delicate flavors of the purple root.

if you choose, as I did, to eat the beets, cheese, and candied pecans, it’s a pretty decent dish – but I prefer the first few dishes. it’s all a matter of taste though, as each component was executed quite well (just that I didn’t like the finished product).


this restaurant is ON my list, and this last dessert is only more incentive to visit for a full meal. zabaglione ice cream frozen with crumbled amaretti biscuits and served with a caramel drizzle, it escapes the too-sweetness you’d expect given the components, and hey – vegetarian dishes can be plenty rich too!

to finish (what was a fantastic meal), these dishes are available on the set menus offered by the various restaurants for gourmet greens week – and at $30++ for lunch and $45++ for dinner (where do you even see such prices anymore!), it makes a great deal for an innovative meal.

you’ll want to hop onto to make your bookings for the #gourmetgreensweek meals – and I forgot to mention that because of their collaboration with FIJI water, you’ll get a bottle of what is probably the most delicious bottled mineral water with your meal (but also, do what I did, and get a glass of white to go with the dishes – you won’t regret it).

Gourmet Greens Week
instagram: #gourmetgreensweek (did you know I’m on instagram?!)

thanks to chope and FIJI water for the lovely trail around town!

hua ting restaurant, town

good poon choi and service at this old establishment in the even older orchard hotel. this was our traditional dinner out on the first night of chinese new year, and it’s pretty much become standard practice for the meal to revolve around poon choi – essentially a basin of dried seafood and meat in a savoury sauce.

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lingzhi vegetarian, novena

incredibly fantastic chinese vegetarian at novena square. my dad’s been talking about this place for the longest time – and we’ve walked past it for years – and I’m so glad we finally came. chinese vegetarian food can be a bit of an unknown beast, no matter how often you eat it, because some places rely heavily on gluten and flour/bean-based mockeries of meat; a huge travesty since there is so much beauty in well-cooked vegetables and fungi. this place falls squarely in the celebrate-the-best-of-vegetables category, and is my recommendation for a vegetarian chinese-new-year-or-not dinner, if you’re so inclined.

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